Dependable Composite Design

Determining the applicability and reliability of composite materials can be extremely complex. Engineering layered composites involves many definitions including numerous layers, materials, thicknesses and orientations to predict how well the finished product will perform under real-world working conditions. Simulation can assist you in predicting stresses and deformations as well as a range of failure criteria for composite design. ANSYS Composite PrepPost software provides all necessary functionalities for finite element analysis of layered composites. New capabilities released with ANSYS 17.0 can make to easier to effectively design composites.

Deformation composite racing car nose and front wing

Total deformation plot for a composite racing car nose and front wing

Some of the factors to take into account during composite design include temperature (effect on matrix resin) and ply-shear due to draping on curved surfaces. You might also need to determine local fiber density, void content, degree of resin curing, degradation due to incomplete impregnation or local defects, ply folding, humidity and UV-exposure.  All of these impact local compound material properties and can be vital in determining if a composite will be reliable in the long term for a particular application.

The new composite workflow released with ANSYS Workbench and ANSYS Composite PrepPost 17 enables you to define up to nine field variables that control the material’s elasticity and stress and strain limits. You can also easily combine thermal loading with structural analyses and simulate the draping of composite plies using ANSYS Composite PrepPost, so you can estimate the change in local properties due to shearing of individual plies.

fiber shear angle plot of composite front wing

Plot of fiber shear on part of front wing

The shear angle field is defined for all modeling plies or oriented selection sets for which draping is active.

ansys webinars this weekTo learn more about composite simulation, join us for a webinar on May 5th where our experts will discuss how to design and analyze composite structures with ANSYS Composite PrePost. You will learn how the software works to create lay-up definitions, perform failure analysis, and optimize the strength-to-weight ratio of layered composite structures.


Related resources

The recent ANSYS Application Brief ‘Dependence of Composite Stiffness and Strength Properties on Temperature, Draping Shear and Imperfections‘ provides more information and a step-by-step example of how to take advantage of these new capabilities for up to nine dependencies. Whether you are designing a race car, a bicycle, a golf club, an oar or any of the millions of other products that require composites, this new feature will help you make your product reliable in any environment.

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